Staff Picks: December 2011

Johnny Got His Gun

Johnny Got His Gun Book Cover

This is a harsh, honest, fast-moving and engaging book that will, hopefully, make you reconsider the principles of war. Joe loses all his limbs, his face: nose, eyes, mouth and his hearing. With no way to communicate he is left to contemplate his short 20 year life, how he got here and what future, if any, he has. The novel pulls you in as Joe contemplates everything from love and friendship to philosophy and morals. He creates an elaborate system to determine how much time passes, and more suspenseful, wonders if he will ever communicate with the outside world again. Most powerful, he contemplates the terrors of war that are kept far from public view; speaking of ‘The Great War’, but universal to those today: “anybody who went out and got into the front line trenches to fight for liberty was a goddamn fool and the guy who got him there was a liar”.

One Summer

One Summer Book Cover

This is book is about a man Jack, who has served our country in the Middle East and survived , yet he has developed a terminal illness and is not supposed to live past the holidays. Most of his life was spent traveling which left little time to develop a relationship with his kids. He has already written letters to his wife (Lizzie) and kids to be opened upon his death. Then on Christmas Eve, his wife goes out in an ice storm to pick up his medicine and dies in a car accident and the miracle happens! He then begins to recover from his illness and is determined to begin a new life with starting to be a better dad. Unfortunately his mother in law has other plans to raise her grandchildren so the battle begins to rebuild his family. Enjoy the journey from Ohio to a small town in South Carolina where Jack begins to rebuild his family and finds himself in love again. One would think this book was written by a female by the way it is written.

The Christmas Wedding

The Christmas Wedding Book Cover

The Christmas Wedding is not your typical Patterson book. It is a brief magical story about, Gabby Summerhill, whose husband died three years ago and her four children who have not been together since the death of their father. One day Gabby calls all four children (who each have their own share of problems) with the news of her upcoming wedding on Christmas day. She asks them to be with her on this special day to marry the man of her dreams who has not been named to anyone. She also has one more gift to give them all when they arrive for the special occasion. The authors take the reader through several twists along the way before discovering who the groom will be.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Book Cover

This is a very unusual book whose plot is punctuated by antique photographs. Unique for the young adult genre, it contains a bit of a mystery that will appeal to teens and adults both.